Written by: Daniel Haurey on 07/24/17

It’s never been more important for enterprises of all sizes to protect their email infrastructure. Email is the most common attack vectors for cybercriminals: In January 2017, NBC reported that ransomware, typically delivered by email, generates $1 billion in business losses every year.

Today, email attacks usually take the form of phishing, where email messages purporting to be from authoritative sources attempt to capture private information. Many users do not recognize the signs of a phishing email, leading them to volunteer their password or other sensitive data.

Phishing can happen anywhere and at any time. Large, global enterprises may seem to be the most tempting targets for phishing, but small businesses are often targeted, too: Attackers simply assume that small businesses will not have the resources needed to defend themselves. Even hospitals and doctors’ offices have been targeted in crippling attacks throughout 2017.

To prevent your company from falling prey to these scams take these steps:

Require Security Awareness Training

There’s a reason why today’s phishing assaults typically target HR and other non-technical staff: They are more likely to respond in predictable ways. In today’s threat environment, true email security includes everyone. All personnel on-boarding should include a course in recognizing common email security threats and taking the right actions quickly.

Non-technical personnel should be encouraged to see themselves as the first line of defense in an attack. They need to know what steps to take to minimize the risk of infection and report all suspicious online activity to the IT department in a safe, efficient way. They should also look for important security signs, such as the absence of the SSL encryption “lock” graphic.

Implement Multifactor Authentication

Once hackers have gotten what they want from a phishing expedition, what do they typically do? Usually, they subvert a corporate user account so they can gain access to secure areas of the network. Even if this does take place, however, an attack can still be stopped if multifactor authentication is part of the login process for the target user.

Multifactor authentication takes advantage of the ever-growing prevalence of mobile devices. When multifactor authentication is active, a username and password isn’t enough to break into an account: The victim can still regain control using his or her laptop, cell phone, or tablet. This makes certain types of accounts nearly impossible to penetrate.

Harden Your Perimeter Defenses

Many email-based attacks have immense size and scope. Millions of phishing emails may be sent out in a few hours, a virtual dragnet that can hit countless small and large businesses. With a threat this size, however, there is a silver lining: The right firewall can use pattern matching to instantly remove phishing emails before target users even see them.

Done right, this can be the ultimate in email security: Protecting users before they know it.

Give Your Business the Power of Email Safety with Exigent

Exigent is a full-service IT consulting firm that works with enterprises of all sizes across New Jersey and New York. Since 1997, we’ve helped companies get world-class IT solutions without the Fortune 500 price tag. That includes high-value hacker targets like hospitals and law firms.

Today, as data security is more important than ever, we strive to provide cutting-edge email security solutions that will meet all your needs – and protect your bottom line. With our IT skills and knowledge behind you, you can stay focused on what you do best.

To learn more, contact Exigent today. We look forward to helping you.